Communication Technique

One of my distributors got angry at me today. Actually, my phone manner pissed her off. Specifically, she said the way I “hmmm’d” while she spoke sounded like I was eating an apple and reading a magazine. At the time I was trying to make her feel heard (!).

In a dispute use the communication technique that sounds least like a communication technique. That was the advice from Christopher Moore of CDR Associates, the internationally acclaimed dispute resolution firm. These guys are skilled, brilliant and cool. My summary is a poor understatement of their abilities (and I know and love these guys).

I must be getting rusty. Despite not agreeing most of her content, I did want to hear the complaint and acknowledge her reality. I also didn’t want to argue with her.

I could finish this entry with a pithy “you can’t win them all”, but that lets me off the hook. I don’t think my relationship with the distributor is viable. She will probably resign on Monday. But I need to lift my game in difficult times. It’s easy to win when everything is going my way. It’s the way I deal with complex and unhappy pressures that builds loyalty and inspires the extraordinary efforts of my team.

2 thoughts on “Communication Technique”

  1. In a dispute use the communication technique that sounds least like a communication technique….

    Wow!!! Wot a technique !!! What does it mean? If it is to sound “least like a communication technique, does this mean to sound like you’re IGNORING the other party???
    IMHO, people will “put up with” a helluva lot, AS LONG AS THEY’RE NOT IGNORED !!!
    Still, whatever happens (come Monday), I’m looking forward to meeting up with you and Nella on Sunday at PF.
    Regards,

  2. I think ignoring the other party is only feasible when there is mental illness involved.

    The point could also be stated as “never sound like you are using a communications technique“.

    People deserve authentic communication which is made up of listening and talking. Techniques are useful where they facilitate the process, if they are used to circumvent communication (say as a defence mechanism), then that is an inappropriate action.

    Woah! I haven’t used expressions like that since I stopped working in Alternative Dispute Resolution circles. 😉

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